Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by Havatara

The mist reflected the setting sun, spraying rainbow colors on the windows of the mini van driving down the quiet street one late summer evening.  In the front were two adults, Mr. and Mrs. Harrows, who were talking quietly so they wouldn’t wake their two children, the twins Jane and Eric, who were sleeping in the back seat.

“I hope they like the new house,” Mrs. Harrows was saying.

“They’ll love it.  The back yard is kind of small, but the park isn’t even a block away, and there are a lot of other little kids around here for them to get to know and play with,” Mr. Harrows pointed out as they pulled into the driveway.

Mrs. Harrows laughed.  “Janie will have no problems finding friends.  It’s Eric I’m worried about.  He’s always so quiet.”

“They’ll be fine.  Both of them.”  Raising his voice a bit, Mr. Harrows said to his kids, “Time to wake up.  We’re here.”

Eric stretched and looked out the window, his forest green eyes speculative.  “It’s kind of small.”

“It’s bigger than it looks.  Do me a favor and wake up your sister,” Mrs. Harrows said as she opened her car door and stepping out to open the door to their new home.

Eric nudged Jane, who yawned loudly and sat up.  “We’re here?”

“Yep.  This is it.”  He looked at her hair and said, “I’ll give you a comb when we get inside.”

She rolled her eyes.  “I’m not a baby, Eric.  I can take care of myself.”

He smiled and got out of the car, pulling the door open and running in after his parents.  Jane quickly followed him.

“Mom Mom where are we going to sleep if our furniture isn’t here yet?”

“Some guys came in yesterday and so our beds are set up, and we have our sheets and blankets and pillows with us,” she explained.  “Now come on, let’s go look at the house.”

Jane and Eric looked at each other, grinning, their identical eyes sparkling.  They said, “Race ya!” and were off, running around the house.  Soon they had found the bathroom, their rooms, their parents’ room, and the basement.

“We’ll be able to put our foosball table down here!” Jane sang, dancing and twirling around the empty room.

Eric nodded.  “And the couches and boardgames.”  He opened the closet and whistled quietly.  “This is huge.  Way bigger than our other house.”

Jane walked up next to him.  “Hey, there’s a box in here.”

“I wonder why the old owners left it,” Eric said, pulling it out slowly.  He was about to lift it out of the cupboard when he dropped it and it fell on the floor.  “It’s heavy!”

“And it smells like the snake exhibit at the zoo,” Jane replied, wrinkling her nose.  Her brother nodded in agreement as they both peered inside.  Their eyes went wide and they said at the same time, “Whoa. . . .”

Inside the old cardboard box was an egg.  It wasn’t any normal egg either.  It was huge, about a foot long and nearly thirty pounds.  It was green with aqua blue swirls all over it.  And it was moving.

“What do you think it is, Janie?” Eric whispered.

“I think there’s a princess inside it, trapped by some evil sorceress long ago, and only now having the strength to be able to get out,” she whispered back.

“That would never happen.”

“Yes it would!”

“How?”

She rolled her eyes.  “You’re no fun at all!”

He smiled back at her.  “I never said I would try to be.  What are we going to do with this?”

Their dad came downstairs just then.  They quickly lifted up the box with its strange contents and put it back in the cupboard.  Mr. Harrows asked, “Find anything interesting?”

“No, there was nothing,” they lied.

“Your mom and I are going to go and get something to eat at that McDonalds we passed.  Do you kids want anything?” he asked as he walked up the stairs.

“Strawberry milkshake if they have one!” Jane called.

“Just get a burger for me,” Eric said.

“Will do!” their dad called back as he and Mrs. Harrows left the house.

Jane and Eric looked at each other, their green eyes sparkling.  Eric asked his sister, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

She giggled.  “I think so.”

They opened the cupboard back up and carried the cardboard box to the foot of the stairs, looking up and smiling.  Then they carried it up the stairs to their kitchen, and from there to Jane’s room.  Their parents had most of the furniture set up already, and their closets were mostly full of clothes.  They put the box in the back of Jane’s closet.

“What are we going to do with it?” Jane asked.  Her voice had a worried tone.

“I don’t know.  We’ll wait, I guess.  Isn’t that all we can do?” Eric asked.

Jane sighed.  “You’re so smart sometimes, and yet you get such bad grades in school.”

“Well, I don’t like studying for spelling tests.  It’s too boring,” he replied as they closed the closet door and walked out of the room.

“It’s not if you study with me!”

“I’m not going to use our cat to study for spelling.”

“Oh, fine!”

Back in Jane’s closet, the egg quivered and started to crack.  Eric heard it and raced back to see what was happening.  “Jane!  Come over here!  It’s hatching!”

“Is there a princess in there?” she asked excitedly.

Eric rolled his eyes.  “I can’t tell yet, but shush.”

“What if I don’t want to shush!” Jane argued hotly.

Just then the egg cracked open and there was a small squalling.  With another kick and more squalling, the egg opened to be a small baby dragon.  It had bright purple eyes, and it’s scales were green and blue.

“Eric, what is it what is it!” Jane asked, pushing her brother aside.  She pouted.  “It’s not a princess.”

Her brother hugged her and replied, “It’s even better than a princess.”

“How?  Dragons can’t wear dresses or fall in love with handsome princes or get their hair to look pretty,” she whined.

“But dragons can fly.”

Jane thought about it for a bit, and she smiled.  “They can, can’t they!  Can we keep it?” she begged.

Eric laughed.  “Of course.  What else are we going to do with it?”

“Well, the school year just ended, but if it hadn’t do you think we would have been able to take it to school?”

“No, Jane, it would attract too much attention.”

The baby dragon made a noise just then, and they looked down at it.  Jane whispered to her brother, “I think it’s hungry.”  The dragon was scratching on the window and whining, somewhat like what a dog would do if it wanted to go outside.

“Should we open the window?” Eric asked.  Jane nodded and they walked over to open it.  As soon as they did, the dragon jumped out and started running around their back yard.

“What are we going to do when our parents get home?” Jane asked suddenly.

“We’ll have to hide him, I guess,” Eric shrugged as he climbed out the window with the dragon.  Walking over to it, he saw that the dragon had found a nice big mouse that was trying to get into their house.  “Better than a cat,” the little boy muttered.

“What’s it doing, Eric!” Jane called.

“It’s having a snack!”  At the word ‘it’ the dragon looked up at him, pouting.  Eric asked it, “What do you want to be called, then?”

It swallowed the mouse and said, “B-b-e-e-e-e-m-m-m.”

Eric frowned.  “Bem?”  The dragon made a sort of cheering noise and started dancing around, and Eric laughed at it.  “Okay, Bem it is then.”

“Eric!  Mom and Dad are back!” Jane called urgently.

Bem ran back to the window and jumped back in easily.  Eric had a harder time, but he managed to get in before his parents got there, and by the time Jane and Eric had closed the window Bem was already hiding in the closet.

“Smart dragon,” Jane commented.

“Yes, it is.”

“Don’t call it an it!” his sister scolded.  “It’s obviously a boy.  If it was a girl, it would be pink or yellow.  It’s green, so it’s obviously a boy.”

Eric looked in the closet and at the egg shell that Bem had come out of.  He touched it and yelped back in surprise when it was hot to the touch.  He stepped back when it started to glow.

Before long the shell was glowing so bright that Eric had to close his eyes, and even then it hurt to look in its direction.  When the glowing stopped, Eric opened his eyes and looked at the shell.  When it wasn’t there, he gasped.  In its place was a thin, leather bound book.  It had “Dragon Manual” etched on the cover.

“Eric, Jane, we’re back!  Do you want to eat or don’t you!” Mr. Harrows called.

“We’re coming!” Jane called back.  She whispered urgently to her brother, “Hide the book and tell Bem not to burn anything and to stay hidden!  We don’t want our parents finding out about him, do we?”

Eric shook his head and stuffed the book in the back of Jane’s closet and told Bem, “Don’t do anything silly until we get back, okay?”  As an answer, Bem burped and smiled contentedly.  Eric laughed to himself and joined his family for dinner.

“So, do you guys like our new home?” Mrs. Harrows asked as she passed the hamburgers around the table.

“It’s amazing!” Jane said excitedly.  “I love my room.  Why didn’t we move here earlier?”

Mr. Harrows laughed.  “The job wasn’t here earlier, honey.  I had to get a job here for us to move here.”

Eric wasn’t paying much attention to what his sister and his parents were saying.  He was just thinking about Bem, sitting all alone in the dark closet.  Finally he asked his mom, “I have to go to the bathroom.  May I be excused?”

“Of course, dear.  Come right back.”

Eric slipped out of his chair and went to his sister’s room.  There he found Bem curled up on some sweaters, sleeping.  Eric chuckled to himself and smiled, wrapping a sweater more tightly around Bem.  There he left the baby dragon to sleep.


Later that night Jane was sleeping in her room and Bem decided that he wanted to get up and do some exploring.  He crawled out of the closet and looked around the room, his purple eyes glowing brightly.  He crawled to Jane’s bed and nudged her hand.  She sat up and rubbed her eyes and asked him, “What do you want?”

“Mah!” he whined.

“I don’t understand what you’re saying,” she replied.  Getting up and turning her light on, she closed her bedroom door to make sure her parents couldn’t hear her moving around in her room.  “Now, what do you want?”

He used his tail and pointed to the window.  Jane frowned.  “You’re hungry again?”  Bem nodded.  Jane stood up on her tip-toes and opened the window.  “Okay, get out there.  Don’t eat any cats or dogs.  They’re somebody’s pet.”  He squealed and raced out of the window.  Jane watched him as he ate a rat and a bird.  After about half an hour he trotted back up to the window and climbed back in.  Picking him up and cuddling him, Jane carried him to her bed and fell back asleep.


In the morning Eric got up early to check on Bem and his sister.  He was surprised to find them sound asleep under Jane’s comforter.  Smiling, Eric nudged them and said, “Wake up.  It’s almost time for breakfast.”

“Bem already ate,” Jane yawned, sitting up and brushing her hand through her messy hair.

Eric asked, “When?”

“Last night.  It was really late, too.  He woke me up,” she complained.

“Just be glad that he didn’t decide he was hungry during breakfast this morning,” he pointed out to her.

Jane suddenly thought of something.  “Eric, where did you put that book?”

“In your closet.  Why?”

“I want to read it, of course,” she replied, laughing.  Digging through her closet, she finally found the books under some socks.  “I just want to know how my closet got so messy when we’ve only been here for a night.”

Bem looked at them innocently, and the Harrows twins laughed.

When they had stopped laughing, Jane and Eric sat down and looked at the “Dragon Manual” book.  Opening to the table of contents, Jane read, “Feeding Your Dragon, Hiding Your Dragon, Dragons Growing Up, and History of Dragons.”  She frowned.  “No wonder it’s such a thin book.  There’s not much in it.”

“But it has everything we need.  It has what we can feed it, how we can hide it, what we need to do to take care of it, and it even has some history.  I’m sure you’ll love that.”  Eric smiled wickedly at his sister.

She stuck her tongue out at him.  “You know I hate history, but I love reading.”

“Exactly, so you read that while I unpack some of my things.  It looks like Bem has done all of that for you.”  Eric pointed to where Bem was sitting in the corner of the room with an overturned box next to him.

“Bem!  Oh, bad boy!  I wanted to make sure everything was still neat when I took everything out!”  Jane raced over to Bem and lifted the box off of him, and she was surprised to see that his eyes were tearing up and his little dragon lip was shaking.  She sighed.  “Oh, you know I didn’t meant that.  I still love you.  But you should have asked me if you wanted to play with something.  Okay?”

Bem gurgled cheerfully and waddled over to Jane, hugging her leg.  She smiled and picked him up, hugging him back.

Eric smiled.  Then he said, “You should read the part about hiding your dragon first, because otherwise Mom and Dad might find him.”

Jane nodded.  “I’ll get to that as soon as I clean up my stuff.”

About an hour later Jane and Eric were sitting in Jane’s room, pretending to be putting their stuff away when they were actually reading the Dragon Manual.  Jane was saying, “Eric, listen to this.  It says here that if we tell him to, Bem can change into the appearance of a cat if we want to hide him.

“That’s going to be useful.  We can say he’s a stray, right?” Eric pointed out.  Jane nodded and turned the page.  “And he can turn invisible if we want to hide him even more?  That’s amazing!”

“Eric?  Jane?  How are you guys doing in there?” Mr. Harrows called in.

Jane jumped up.  “We’d better test this.  Bem, turn into a cat.”

Bem did so, but it was slow and he was pouting the entire time.  When he was done he was a gray cat that looked like it hadn’t been feed in two weeks.

Eric and Jane’s dad opened the door just then and saw Bem in the form of a cat.  “Now what is this cute little thing?” he asked, picking Bem up.  He was purring like crazy.

“It’s a stray.  We found him outside,” Eric said.

“Can we keep him?  We’ll brush him and cuddle him and feed him!” Jane pleaded.

Mr. Harrows sighed and looked at the bright, sunny day outside the window.  Finally he replied, “Fine, but only if you keep your promises.  As soon as I feel that you aren’t taking care of this cat as good as you said you were going to, it’s going to the shelter, understand?”

“Yep!” Jane and Eric replied at the same time.

That is what started the entire adventure.



© 2010 Havatara


Author's Note

Havatara
I'm sort of having trouble starting out this story. Please tell me if I could have done anything differently and thanks for reading!

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Okay, when i read the prologue i was kinda like "Ummm...it's Eragon all over again, only a little different." But then i read this, and it was modern day ((which is a GREAT twist since it seemed like medieval-ish in the prologue)). Great story, but you might think of slowing it down a bit. And how old are the twins??? Jane seems a LOT younger than Eric, so you might wanna work on that. Another thing to think about: what would you do if a dragon hatched in your room??? i don't know about you but if a giant egg started hatching in my room, i'd be at least a little nervous. Just some things to keep in mind. Terrific story so far, though. =D

Posted 10 Years Ago


I like the characters alright But the sentences tend to be run on too long each needs to be more concise

Posted 10 Years Ago




I'm really sorry it took me such a long time to review this, because I know you sent me a read request.
I thought it was great! I could picture how the dragon looked really well, and the dialogue was well-flowing. Awesome job!! :]

Posted 10 Years Ago


Laurierose
Poet at heart. Romantic by nature. Nature the style. Styled by experiences. Experience this world that is my mind...
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This is so cute! How old are the twins? Young enough to still like each other's company, I'm guessing. The storyline was great, and very entertaining!

However, I thought there was a slight overuse of the word identical. You mentioned it once, and we know they are twins, so maybe you could tone it down a little.

Another criticism would be that although you clearly wanted the kids to be perky and cute, you could give them a little more personality. You mentioned Eric didn't like spelling, so maybe you could make a but more of a person who hates school? Just a suggestion.

I love your writing style; you're obviously quite talented. I think you'd make an excellent children's writer! Keep going with this and I hope I helped. :)

Posted 10 Years Ago


Really cool! I liked it heaps. Keep this story going!

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on March 12, 2010
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Author

Havatara
Havatara

The Town That Moved, St. Louis County, MN (aka Hicksville), MN



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